Apr 162011
 


When considering a shower seat you have to take into account the needs of the person who will be using the chair. It is important to realize that a simple shower stool may not be sufficient for the requirements of a person who has a physical restriction. But whether temporarily or permanently disabled, there’s no reason someone can’t experience the benefits of a hot shower.

Various types of shower seats are available that make it much easier for someone who is physically challenged to sit comfortably and safely in a shower.
Drive Stainless Steel Rehab Shower Commode with Open Front

First, for people who use a wheelchair, shower commode chairs are available. This special type of wheelchair can be made of waterproof PVC or may have an aluminum frame and stainless steel hardware. These chairs also have large wheels so the person in it can get themselves in and out of the shower. What’s more, many are lightweight and can be folded so they can be easily moved.

A commode chair often also has a special hole that permits the chair to double as a toilet. Underneath the chair is a removable container that can be taken out and cleaned as required.

Guardian Economy Non-Padded Transfer Bench
A person who is in a wheelchair may need, or prefer, to have a transfer bench. This is an adapted version of the standard shower seat. The design of the bench allows a person to move from their wheelchair onto the bench and then slide themselves into the shower. Many models allow you to adjust the seat height.

 

If you are concerned about water getting onto the floor, you don’t have to worry as many of these benches have a feature which allows the shower curtain to be pulled across. These benches are very useful for not only the disabled person, but also their caregiver. With this type of unit in place, the caregiver will have virtually no lifting to do. In fact, many people who are confined to a wheelchair can get in and out of the shower using one of these benches with no assistance at all. Bradley 9571 Bariatric Shower Seat, Right Hand Configuration

If you are looking at a long-term care situation, you should think about a wall mounted or fold down shower seat. These are extremely convenient and useful. Wall mounted shower seats can be conveniently folded out of the way when they are not needed. Many of these seats are made of a phenolic, which is a very durable long lasting plastic compound. If you plan to get a wall mount, there are a number of different features available, including safety locks, and arms.

A handicap shower seat is ideal for any person who needs assistance getting in and out of the shower or who just wants to have privacy for taking a shower. Replacing or modifying a shower or tub can be very costly, but the addition of the appropriate shower chair can make major renovations or alternations unnecessary. And the range of options for a handicap shower seat enables the physically challenged person to be involved in making their own choice.

The above seats can be purchased at:

Jan 132011
 


VIDEO VERSION

Just like its name says, the built in shower seat is a seat which is permanently built into the shower. The base can be made of ceramic or concrete. The seat is then finished with tiles or granite. The beauty of the built in shower seat is that it is both attractive and a very convenient way of making a shower more comfortable.

Some built-in shower seats run the length of the shower. Others are simply built into the corner of the shower. (For more info, read Choosing a Corner Shower Seat.)

You can have this type seat constructed either during the building of a house or during the process of remodeling a house.

Shower Bench Benefits

The basic purpose of the shower bench is convenience. It can be used for sitting while taking a shower. This is very important because people who are ill or weak may need the support the shower bench provides while they shower. But even healthy people can also use the bench to more easily shave their legs or when using a pumice stone, for instance.

Other uses of the built in shower seat include the fact that it can serve as a safety measure. Without a seat or bench in the shower, the user is more likely to slip and probably have a bad fall if he or she has to stand amid the slippery water and soap suds. With a shower seat, this is less likely to happen.

If the shower bench is long, it can also be used for storage. Shampoo bottles and brushes as well as kids toys can all be left on the bench. Using the bench for storage means you won’t have to have any of those plastic accessory holders hanging from your shower head.

Another important element of the built in shower bench is its visual appeal. The bench can be covered with different sizes and colors of ceramic tile. But other materials, such as marble and granite are available. Depending on your design choice, you can add quite a bit of style and class to the shower.

Shower Bench Installation

In terms of the actual installation of the shower seat, it makes a lot of sense to use products of the highest quality. Attention should also be given to the fact that the shower seat will be in a place that is constantly wet. Therefore, durable and water-resistant material should be used.

Installing a shower seat in the shower after the house has already been built will involve a bit of remodeling. Therefore, it makes sense to apply the basic rules of architecture to the process. Be sure you plan for a seat height and width that will be comfortable for all users.

You should also plan for a slight slope in the bench to allow the water to run off and into the shower.

You must also install moisture proofing along the top of the shower bench and seal all spaces that water can get into. This will ensure that there will be no leaks. More to the point, this will make the whole system last longer and function more effectively.

The shower bench is not really a complicated thing to build into a shower. In some cases, it may be possible for an individual to construct one without the services of an expert. There are many online sites that offer construction advice.

For best results though, it might be better to involve professionals to get the job done. This ensures that you will get the best use of your built in shower seat.

Cost

The built in shower seat will be more expensive than the fold-down shower seat or the standalone shower seat. That’s because of material and construction costs. But for your money you do get a long-lasting and visually appealing addition to your shower.


Video Version

Nov 052010
 

When people are looking for shower seats they sometimes get confused because they read about fold down shower seats and folding shower seats. Don’t be fooled. These two types of seats are quite different.

  • The fold down seat is really a hinged shower seat, also called a retractable shower chair.
  • The folding seat is really a type of freestanding seat.

Here’s more about the two different types of shower seats.

The Fold Down or Hinged Shower Seat

If you’re short on space in your shower, but still want a place to sit while in the shower, the fold down or retractable shower seat may be your best choice. As I said, yet another name for this type seat is the hinged shower chair. That’s because this type of seat is attached to the shower wall, usually with some type of hinge.

Benefit: Less space

Because of the way it’s attached, the seat can then be lifted up or down and locked into place when you want to use it. When not being used, you again fold the chair down or up. That means that when not in use the seat will lie flat against the wall, taking up little shower space.

Benefit: Convenience

This type shower seat is very convenient because it stays in the shower where it’s handy for anyone who needs to use it. But if someone taking a shower doesn’t need it, the seat is out of the way. For more information about the overall benefits of shower seats, read What Are the Benefits of Shower Seats?

Attachment of the Seat

Since people are going to sit on this type shower seat, how it is attached to the shower enclosure is important. These chairs should NOT be attached to a shower wall enclosure that is only a hollow type surface such as drywall, fiberglass, acrylic, or sheetrock.

These seats need to be attached to a reinforced backing such as wood or steel that is behind the shower enclosure wall. The mounting or anchoring bolts or screws should be appropriate for the type of backing they are being attached to. If you are not comfortable doing this type of construction, consult a plumbing professional.

As an option, some fold down shower seats are sold with legs. The legs will provide added support to the person sitting in the chair and fold up with the chair. Some of these legs are also adjustable so the seat can be used by people of different heights. Adjusting the legs also means this type of seat can handle shower floors that slope downward toward the drain in the middle.

Hinged Shower Seat Features

Here are some of the key features you should consider when buying a new hinged shower seat.

Weight capacity: Assuming it’s attached correctly, a typical seat can hold about 250 pounds (113 KG). With legs, seats can hold more weight, such as 400 pounds (181 KG). Always check the weight capacity of any fold down shower seat you buy to be sure no one will get hurt while sitting in it.

Seat size: Seats come in different lengths and widths, so be sure to find one that will fit the bottom that’s going to be in it. A typical length is 18 inches (45 cm), while a typical width can be from 16 to 18 inches (40 to 45 Cm).

Because of the way they are attached to the shower enclosure, these seats can also be found that run the length of the shower wall, providing added space for storage.

Seat material: You will have many different options when it comes to the material you choose for your retractable shower chair.

Teak is a stylish and popular option. It’s a brownish wood that is strong and resistant to moisture. It typically costs more than any of the other seat material options.

Rubberwood, also called parawood, is a lighter color than teak, but can be stained. It is also water resistant and less expensive than teak. If you want the look and feel of wood, but want something that is ecologically friendly, you may want to consider rubberwood.

Both teak and rubberwood seats usually have slats in them to let the water drain through.

Phenolic is a water resistant plastic often used in hospital fold down shower seats. It is a hard and strong material. It will also have slats to allow water to drain through.

Some manufacturers offer phenolic seats with padding for greater comfort while sitting.

Hardware: There are also many options for the mounting bracket and hinge materials used for these chairs. In addition to stainless steel, chrome, brass, and brushed nickel are often available options.

With the combination of hardware and seat material you can be sure the fold down seat fits in with the décor of your shower and bathroom.

Be sure the hardware you use has no rough edges so it will not cut anyone using the shower seat. Also, some hinged seats come with covers for the metal hardware.

Other options:

Some retractable seats are sold with backs and arms. A chair with a back offers greater support to the person using the chair. Arms allow people to sit more comfortably. These are especially useful when this type chair is being used by a physically challenged person who requires caregiver help when taking a shower. Others are sold with legs for added support.

Commode type chairs with U-shaped cutouts are also available for handicapped people who need the additional convenience.

Fold Down Seat Summary

The retractable shower seat is a great solution for a small shower that needs a shower seat. Choose the features you need before buying. When installing, be sure all the hardware is attached securely so the seat can be used without any worries.

Now let’s consider the folding shower seat.

Folding Shower Seat

The folding shower seat is meant to be used in the shower, then folded up and stored outside the shower. This means that when the folding chair isn’t being used it doesn’t take up any space within the shower.

Benefit: Portability

The primary benefit of the folding shower seat is that it is portable. If you want to use the seat in a different shower, or take it with you on a trip, you simply fold it up and carry it with you.

This type of folding chair is a one piece unit available in various materials and a choice of features. The most common features include the following.

Seat material

Teak: At the higher cost end are folding shower chairs made of solid teak wood. Teak is a brownish wood that is water resistant because of its natural oil content. The brown teak will turn to a more silver color over time. This is a natural process but does not mean the teak needs to be replaced.

Because of its styling and water resistance this type folding chair will look good and works well in both indoor and outdoor showers.

Plastic: Molded plastic (PVC) is the most common material used for folding shower seats. Some seats are smooth while others are textured. Drain holes are built in to allow the shower water to drain through. These seats are usually molded in a slightly curved shape so it is more comfortable for your bottom. The plastic used is usually quite durable and will provide good support when you’re sitting on chairs made of this material.

Available options include handles on the sides for easy lifting, as well as back supports and arm rests. Some even come with a holder if you intend to use a hand held showerhead.

Mesh: Mesh folding shower chairs are often the lightest weight folding shower chair and fold to a smaller size than the plastic type chairs. Mesh resists mold and mildew and is a quick drying material.

Construction

The teak folding shower chairs are usually all one piece made of only teak.

The plastic and mesh chairs are constructed with a stainless steel or anodized aluminum frame and legs for strength. This material is corrosion proof so will not rust. Some chairs offer legs that are adjustable for people of different heights. And some legs will include rubber tips to help prevent the chair from slipping in the shower.

Other considerations:

Since it is meant to be portable, you will want to consider the weight of the folding chair. Typical weights are from 6 to 8 pounds (2.7 to 3.6 Kg), while mesh seats often weigh less.

When choosing a folding shower chair you need to consider the weight of the people who will be using the chairs. Typical chairs hold up to 250 pounds (113 Kg). If you want to hold heavier weights, you will need to find special bariatric shower chairs.

Also look into the seat length and width to be sure it will be comfortable for the user.

Finally, be sure that when opened, the chair will leave you enough space to stand up and walk into the shower and sit comfortably.

For more information, read The Benefits and Features of Shower Seats.

Nov 052010
 

If you’re short on space in your shower, but still want a place to sit while in the shower, the fold down or retractable shower seat may be your best choice. Another name for this type shower seat is the hinged shower chair.

The fold-down seat is attached to the shower wall. The seat can then be lifted up or down and locked into place when you want to use it. When not being used, you again fold the chair down or up. That means that when not in use the seat will lie flat against the wall, taking up little shower space.

This type shower seat is very convenient because it stays in the shower where it’s handy for anyone who needs to use it. But if someone taking a shower doesn’t need it, the seat is out of the way. For more information about the benefits of shower seats, read What Are the Benefits of Shower Seats?

Attachment of the Seat

Since people are going to sit on this type shower seat, how it is attached to the shower enclosure is important. These chairs should NOT be attached to a shower wall enclosure that is only a hollow type surface such as drywall, fiberglass, acrylic, or sheetrock.

These seats need to be attached to a reinforced backing such as wood or steel that is behind the shower enclosure wall. The mounting or anchoring bolts or screws should be appropriate for the type of backing they are being attached to. If you are not comfortable doing this type of construction, consult a plumbing professional.

As an alternative, some fold down shower seats are sold with legs. The legs will provide added support to the person sitting in the chair and fold up with the chair. Some of these legs are also adjustable so the seat can be used by people of different heights. Adjusting the legs also lets you take care of shower floors that slope downward toward the drain in the middle.

Features

Here are some of the key features you should consider when buying a new fold down shower seat.

Weight capacity: Assuming it’s attached correctly, a typical seat can hold about 250 pounds (113 KG). With legs, seats can hold more weight, such as 400 pounds (181 KG). Always check the weight capacity of any fold down shower seat you buy to be sure no one will get hurt while sitting in it.

Seat size: Seats come in different lengths and widths, so be sure to find one that will fit the bottom that’s going to be in it. A typical length is 18 inches (45 cm), while a typical width can be from 16 to 18 inches (40 to 45 Cm).

Seat material: You will have many different options when it comes to the material you choose for your retractable shower chair.

Teak is a stylish and popular option. It’s a brownish wood that is strong and resistant to moisture. It typically costs more than any of the other seat material options.

Rubberwood, also called parawood, is a lighter color than teak, but can be stained. It is also water resistant and less expensive than teak. If you want the look and feel of wood, but want something that is ecologically friendly, you may want to consider rubberwood.

Both teak and rubberwood seats usually have slats in them to let the water drain through.

Phenolic is a water resistant plastic often used in hospital fold down shower seats. It is a hard and strong material. It will also have slats to allow water to drain through.

Some manufacturers offer phenolic seats with padding for greater comfort while sitting.

Hardware: There are also many options for the mounting bracket and hinge materials used for these chairs. In addition to stainless steel, chrome, brass, and brushed nickel are often available options.

With the combination of hardware and seat material you can be sure the fold down seat fits in with the décor of your shower and bathroom.

Be sure the hardware you use has no rough edges so it will not cut anyone using the shower seat. Also, some shower chairs come with covers for the metal hardware.

Other options:

Some fold down seats are sold with backs and arms. A chair with a back offers greater support to the person using the chair. Arms allow people to sit more comfortably. These are especially useful when this type chair is being used by a physically challenged person who requires caregiver help when taking a shower.

Commode type chairs with U-shaped cutouts are also available for handicapped people who need the additional convenience.

Summary

The retractable shower seat is a great solution for a small shower that needs a shower seat. Choose the features you need before buying. When installing, be sure all the hardware is attached securely so the seat can be used without any worries.

Don’t confuse this seat with the folding shower seat which does not attach to the shower wall.